Over the past few weeks, the mainstream media has tried to justify the extreme volatility of the cryptocurrency market, and specifically the price movements of bitcoin, by connecting them to news.
This week, several media outlets reported that the price of bitcoin had fallen from $9,000 to $8,000 due to the ban imposed by Twitter on cryptocurrency-related advertisements. In a report, CNBC stated that the price of bitcoin had declined by 40 percent after Twitter released its strict policy on regulating cryptocurrency and ICO advertisements.
In reality, when the report was released, the price of bitcoin had declined by 12 percent, and the movement did not coincide with Twitter’s ban on cryptocurrency ads. The social media giant happened to have banned ICO ads when the most dominant digital currency in the cryptocurrency market was starting to lose momentum.
There exist a wide range of factors that could have contributed to the price movements of bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies. Several analysts have attributed the recent decline in the price of bitcoin to the futures market operated by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) and CME Group. PhilCrypto, a respected cryptocurrency researcher, stated that the decline in the price of bitcoin from $8,000 to $7,000 coincided with the Cboe bitcoin futures market demonstrating record volumes.
It is entirely possible that institutional investors and retail traders are manipulating the market in order to cash out their short contracts or futures contracts, and that explains the sudden surge in the price of bitcoin from $8,000 to $20,000, and the abrupt drop in bitcoin’s value from $20,000 to $6,000.
But according to Bill Barhydt, the CEO of cryptocurrency remittance company Abra, there exists a lack of demand from institutional investors and retail traders from the West, in contrast to places like Japan and South Korea. Contrary to the anticipation of the cryptocurrency community, the debut of the Cboe and CME bitcoin futures markets were poor, and the U.S. bitcoin futures market struggled to demonstrate rapidly increasing interest in the cryptocurrency market among institutional investors.
Aaron Brown, former Managing Director and Head of Financial Market Research at AQR Capital Management, emphasized that while bitcoin price movements have been smooth throughout the launch of the US bitcoin futures market, little interest was shown toward cryptocurrency investment vehicles.
“There was little interest in the derivative contracts, which account for only a few thousand Bitcoin, out of a circulating supply of 17 million. Institutions mostly stayed on the sidelines. No new vehicles for retail investment emerged. Bitcoin prices did not stabilize: They continued to move at around 100 percent annualized volatility, as they have for most of the currency’s history,” Brown wrote.
In addition to the slow growth rate of the US bitcoin futures market, the decline in the adoption of bitcoin by retailers and strict regulations imposed on both businesses and investors could have contributed to bitcoin’s price drop.
Hence, it is illogical to conclude that the decline has been caused by news such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter banning blockchain and ICO advertisements, and it is far-fetched to justify each price movement as based on a particular market event.